The Blue Restaurant & Bar on Main Street in Islip, one of many local eateries serving takeout during the coronavirus shutdown, caught fire shortly before the dinner rush on Friday afternoon.
The Islip Fire Department and firefighters from a half dozen surrounding areas responded to the blaze shortly before 5 p.m. and extinguished the flames in an hour. Staffers who were in the restaurant escaped unharmed. The restaurant suffered extensive damage, but the fire did not spread to neighboring buildings.
Town of Islip fire marshals and Suffolk County police arson squad detectives are continuing the investigation into the cause of the fire, which was not immediately clear.
The restaurant appeared to be doing brisk business during the pandemic with cars lined up each night at dinnertime for its $20 appetizer and entree specials. The white-tablecloth eatery had launched in 2018 as Blue Oyster Seafood & Oyster Bar, but later changed its named to The Blue Restaurant & Bar. It was previously a sports bar called Bottoms Up.